Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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June 22, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos     6/25/13

In this edition:

*Goodbye, Jo Hogarty!
*Goodbye, Jim Swaim!
*Congrats Valerie Kemp!
*Juneteenth Celebration
*The Fez
*Did You Know?

*Goodbye, Jo Hogarty!
         Jo Hogarty of North Liberty is retiring after serving almost 27 years as the secretary in the Board of Supervisors’ Office. She joins her husband (Joe) who is also retiring after a long and distinguished career at Proctor and Gamble.

         Jo has seen many things, good and bad, over a long career. One of her first days on the job, she broke up a physical fight between Recorder John O’Neil and Supervisor Harold Donnelly. She laughed about typing up letters for then-Supervisor Dick Myers when she could not read his writing. Jo fondly tells the story of the Reverend Bob Welsh, still a fixture at Supervisors’ meetings today, feeling guilty because of all the copies he requested. To make up for it, Reverend Welsh purchased Jo a nice electric stapler, which she uses to this day.

         The list of Supervisors with whom Jo has served is long and colorful: Janet Shipton, Lorada Cilek, Mike Cilek, Harold Donnelly, Bob Burns, Denny Langenberg, Dick Myers, Betty Ockenfels, Pat Meade, Don Sehr, Steve Lacina, Charlie Duffy, Joe Bolkcom, Sally Stutsman, Jonathon Jordahl, Carol Thompson, Mike Lehman, Terrence Neuzil, Pat Harney, Larry Meyers, Janelle Rettig, John Etheredge, and myself.

Through it all, Jo has been hard working and professional. More importantly, Jo is a kind woman who really cares about all of us and our families. Thanks, Jo – you will be missed! Enjoy your retirement!

*Goodbye, Jim Swaim!
         Another retirement of note – Jim Swaim is stepping down soon after 40 years as Executive Director of United Action for Youth (UAY). As a matter of fact, Jim is the ONLY director UAY has ever had!

         I cannot say enough good things about Jim. He dedicated his whole life to improving the lives of kids who had it rough. He advocated, strategized, and got his own hands dirty. Jim Swaim walked the walk. He is truly one of the real heroes in our midst. I admire the heck out of him.

Someone else has been hired to run UAY, and I’m certain she’ll do a great job. But you do not replace a guy like Jim Swaim. Thank you, Jim, from the bottom of my heart!

*Congrats Valerie Kemp!
         Congratulations to Valerie Kemp of Johnson County, who is being honored with the top national award in her profession – the Scotia Knouff Line Officer of the Year Award.

Valerie is an 18-year employee of the Department of Corrections, Sixth Judicial District. She is a probation/parole officer, but you wouldn’t necessarily recognize the job the way she does it. Valerie has long been involved in restorative justice efforts, and has made a huge impact in the lives of people affected by the criminal justice system in Johnson County.

I have been a fan of Valerie Kemp for a long time. She has served as an example to me in terms of trying to create a world that is more fair for people who are poor, or victims, or under-educated, or people of color. Her work has been inspirational.

Finally, the rest of the world has noticed! The Scotia Knouff Line Officer of the Year Award is the most competitive and perhaps the most prestigious practitioner award offered by the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA). This award honors a probation, parole or community corrections officer who has performed assigned duties in an outstanding manner and/or made significant contributions to the probation, parole or community corrections profession at the local, regional or national level.

         Congrats, Valerie! You deserve it!

*Juneteenth Celebration
         The Johnson County Juneteenth Community Committee, Johnson County Social Services, Johnson County Community Partnership for Protecting Children, Iowa City Parks and Recreation, The Coalition for Racial Justice, ACT Inc., Iowa Dept. of Human Services, Title Boxing Inc., Strike Martial Arts, Iowa City Human Rights Commission, Diversity Focus and the University of Iowa African American Council, University of Iowa Chief Diversity Office and many others invite you attend this fun-filled event for families.

The Johnson County Juneteenth Community Committee will be hosting a day of summer fun for all families living in Johnson County on June 29 from 12 pm to 6 pm at Mercer Park in Iowa City.

This is the 3rd Annual Iowa City Area Juneteenth Celebration Commemorating the End of Slavery. Volunteers and community members will assist in activities and games for the carnival. There will be free food (while supplies last), vendors, music and live entertainment. Children can enjoy story time, a bouncy house, clowns, face painting and water games (IC Fire Dept.). Adults will be able to enter into a Bid Whist and Spades Tournament. There will be a Health and Financial Wellness Fair indoor and a chance for participants to win wonderful door prizes.

New Features: This year we will have a sweet potato pie contest that will be judged at the beginning of the event and we are taking baker’s applications up to the day (Judging begins 12 pm to 1pm). We will also be hosting our first Juneteenth Blood Drive!

This is a community event for all community members of every background. It will be uplifting for families and will provide an exciting, relaxing, safe afternoon for you to spend time with your loved ones as well as other families in the community on a summer day in June. Please join us at this historical event!

Rain Location: Mercer Park Gymnasium. For more information, please contact: LaTasha Massey, Event Chair, Community Projects Specialist for Johnson County Social Services, 356-6090 or

*The Fez
         There are many things that make Johnson County a great place to live. It does not hurt that we are home to a Steely Dan tribute band!

         After being coaxed by friends, I finally caught The Fez Friday night. It was a fun show! Check them out!

*DID YOU KNOW?  You can fill out flood damage reports (for FEMA and insurance purposes) online at the County website.

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website-

"Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents.

These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned.

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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